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So how will the changes affect football? Those fans who want to see their club purchase the world's finest players possibly including Messi will be delighted.
Any residual supporters longing nostalgically for the basic charms of the Kippax may find themselves disillusioned but most fans will be delighted at this news; there really is no stopping them.
However, given the increased TV deal and the larger permitted loss in the Premier League, a similar rule change here would not have a huge effect.
Interestingly, this wage-rise cap would also restrict clubs like Everton and Southampton from getting to the top-table even if owner cash injections were permitted for FFP purposes and if they had an owner willing to roll the dice.
Quite what the Liverpool owners would think of a potential PL change would be interesting; they cited FFP as one of the reasons they bought club.
A rule change in the Premier League would make it a real struggle to get as close to Man City as they did last season. We may well see wage escalation take-off again and see more European clubs get into difficulty.
Perhaps it is in the Championship that things might change the most. In the short term, QPR will be heartened by Platini's announcement in advance of their arbitration hearing.
Longer term, any lifting of the restriction in owner-injected cash might require the introduction of wage-rise caps or interactive, real-time monitoring to avoid a desperate spending battle to get out of the division.
Before critics prematurely rush to celebrate FFP's demise, is worth noting that it is now over two years since any Football League or Premier League club went into administration.
That just might have something to do with FFP. The club accounts can be found here but the key events are summarised below: All this raises a number of questions about the way the accounts the way the club has portrayed events.
You have to wonder why the club tried to present events as they did. This is the highest level of wages ever paid by Championship club.
FFP constraints were brought in to help put a lid on wage escalation — however QPR almost seem to have felt they could play to a different set of rules.
The accounts themselves are also notable for the very thing they fail to mention: If there is a juggernaut coming round the corner, the accounts should put you on notice — none of the professionals connected with pulling this document together have covered themselves in glory.
It is unclear why the write-off was structured in this way and it is possible that Tune QPR have agreed to be responsible for most of the debt.
QPR figures not all they seem 2 March However, things are not quite as they may initially seem.
The improvement was both stunning an unexpected. And as we know, when something seems too good to be true, it often is.
Rather than reducing, the club losses should actually have increased! The FL statement explains: They will have to pay that fine if they are relegated to ensure the Football League will allow them into the place in the Championship.
It is possible that the obliging accountants may have decided not to use this term in the accounts. In any case, there has clearly been a highly contentious owner-related injection of income which has irked the Football League and pushed at the boundaries of football club accounting.
It is interesting to look at what lies ahead for QPR. The Football League will then assess their financial results and advise the club of the amount Fair Play Tax to be levied.
QPR may decide that they do not wish to play ball and may decide that they do not wish to provide their financial results to the Football League by 1 December.
However, this would have its consequences. If QPR decide not to play ball, it could end up costing them several million pounds extra.
The club will need to balance up their desire to fight the rules with their desire to reduce any potential fine. The FFP rules explain that in this scenario, the club would: However, this course of action seems unlikely owing to the sometimes complicated relationship between the Football League and the Premier League.
The Premier League fear that depriving one of their member clubs of a substantial amount of cash would undermine the integrity of their competition.
Interestingly, it is unclear whether QPR would be allowed into the Football League from the Conference if they had the same owners and the fine was still unpaid.
None of this changes the fact that QPR were not in the Championship when the rules were introduced and feel they have been harshly treated.
However time is not on their side — they are currently amongst the favourites for relegation and the uncertainly caused by a protracted legal and relegation battle would make life very difficult at Loftus Road.
Which Championship clubs can expect to receive a Transfer Embargo? With Championship clubs due to submit their Fair Play information to the Football League by 1 December, it is worth considering which clubs are likely to have breached the rules and the likely impact.
Some expenditure is excluded such as charitable donations, promotion bonuses, and youth development expenditure. Club have already stated a transfer ban is to be expected.
Bottom of table with well-documented issues but costs seem to be under control. Advocates for FFP who have cut costs to meet thresholds.
Equity injection will probably be required. Likely to need an equity injection from owner and probably OK if injection made.
New owners net spenders this season. Sold naming rights to stadium last season but will need equity injection.
Tfr profit last season and subsequent spending suggests club will be within limits. Owner likely to inject equity but despite cost-cutting, unlikely to be within threshold.
Likely ban reported by local press. Club spent heavily last season and reinvested sales proceeds in Summer on new signings.
Parachute payments will have helped considerably but whether they cut costs enough is hard to call. New owner in place before end of financial year so equity injection likely.
A club used to keeping costs under control. Appear to have kept costs under control and require minimal if any equity. Low net spend over last two seasons.
Most of the huge losses were exceptional one-off items what would not be expected to be repeated. However whether the club managed to keep to their limits during their promotion-season from L1 is difficult to say.
Owner likely to have injected equity and any fine if there were one would be very low i. Any embargo would be applied before the start of January Transfer window.
Once an embargo is applied a club can apply in March to the Football League to have the ban removed. However the removal of the ban cannot take place until 31 May and will only occur where the club has submitted Interim Information that confirms the club is on target to pass the FFP test in the following December i.
The current version of the rules were voted in by member clubs in April ; meetings to update the existing rules took place towards the end of last season but clubs could not agree on a new measure.
With so many disparate interests and different financial positions amongst clubs in the Championship, gaining a consensus on one set of rules or approach is again likely to prove difficult.
During the Summer Transfer Window we saw a number of deals where a player was loaned for 12 months, with the option to buy at the end of the loan.
There were a number of reports that FFP was the reason for this type of transaction and it is worth exploring the issue.
To get round a spending cap. However despite the player's apparent desire to join PSG, the deal didn't take place. To manage the timing of the purchase for the 'buying' club.
However there are a few additional factors to consider. Depending on the circumstances a minimal loan fee is sometimes paid eg where a club wants to get the player's wages off their books, such as when Andy Carroll joined West Ham on loan from Liverpool.
Last week, the Championship clubs voted on a number of potential changes to the existing FFP rules. When the rules were originally voted in, the 'Tax' was intended to be divided up between the Championship clubs that had complied with the rules.
Consequently the Football needed to rely on the Premier League to approve the concept. The Premier League have never formally announced why they decided to overrule the Football League.
Rather than deduct the funds from the TV payments, it seems the Football League will be required to send QPR and Leicester a bill and simply hope that they pay-up.
What do you think? It remains to be seen whether the Football League feel it is worth the effort. This affair illustrates the difficult relationship that clubs and many football organisations outside the Premier League have with their wealthy benefactor.
Essentially, if the Premier League want something, then we can be fairly sure that it is going to happen. The Premier League is hugely powerful and controls the purse-strings of English Football to such an extent that few individuals or organisations feel secure enough to challenge them.
The PL introduced their own spending constraints model only following governmental pressure. SCMP limits spending on player wages to a percentage of club Turnover.
There are no restrictions in themselves on the amount a club can lose or spend on transfer fees. The process is interactive with clubs providing the Football League with projections for the spending for the coming season.
During the season the clubs provide regular updates on their Turnover and wage bill. Where a club is on course to exceed the limits, the Football League will apply a Transfer Embargo.
Crucially, a club doesn't have to overspend to incur the embargo, it only needs to shown to be heading for an overspend. This interactive approach enables clubs to increase their wage bill if their circumstances improve - a successful cup run will generate increased income and the Football League may be able to sanction additional wage spend.
Because SCMP doesn't rely on the retrospective scrutiny of club accounts, it is also extremely effective at stopping overspend before the spending actually occurs something that has been a problem for the Championship's version of FFP.
The Football League's website's explanation of the rules doesn't go into a great deal of detail about how they operate. However they have responded to enquiries and confirmed a number of areas that help us to better understand the rules.
The rules apply to all clubs and there is no moratorium for clubs relegated from the Championship. However, Transitional Arrangements are in place whereby clubs are allowed to exclude the wage costs of all players that the club signed pre September of the relegation season, if they were signed on contracts in excess of 3 seasons.
However the Football League use a is broader definition of Turnover. Crucially, the FL Turnover figure includes donations from the owners to the club and injections of equity.
Loans from club owners are understandably not included in the Turnover figure as these would result in growing club debts.
In League 1 and League 2, a wealthy owner can therefore fund the club spending in a way that is not permitted in other divisions. Manchester City and Leicester for example seem set for punishment for their excessive losses from UEFA and the Championship respectively despite the fact that the owners have injected hard cash into the club to finance the spending.
Any profit made on player sales is included withinTurnover on a cash basis when the instalments are received. Player wages included in the SCMP calculation relate to all contract players full contract, non-contract, multiplicity etc.
Wage costs for players loaned out to other clubs are deducted for the period of the loan. Wage costs for Youth players on a professional contract are also excluded i.
The direct costs have to be deducted to reach a figure that is submitted on the SCMP return. Following recent press reports, we now have a much better idea about the sanctions that are reportedly being offered to Manchester City and PSG.
It is now up to the clubs to decide whether to accept the terms or risk a potentially more severe punishment. The punishment reported in the press raises a number of interesting questions: When City filed their accounts, on the face of it they looked to have nominally passed the FFP Break Even test after permitted exclusions.
So even if a few items are adjusted downwards, it was not immediately apparent why they have been given the same punishment as PSG a club that failed hugely and seem to have made little effort to comply.
Without this exclusion City fail hugely. Crucially, the exclusion can only be applied if a number of criteria are ALL met.
See page 94 of FFP Toolkit for relevant section. This would have been enough to ensure the wages exclusion could not be used. I am grateful to MatsRy for first raising this as a potential issue.
Matts is well worth following on Twitter and for example recently broke the news that QPR have mortgaged their parachute payments.
The accounting treatment of the fine has other interesting dimensions. This Own Revenue Uplift is effectively made up of changes in Commercial income, plus profit on player trading, plus changes in Champions League revenue.
In previous years, City, like other PL clubs have categorised managerial pay-off as one-off Exceptional items rather than as Wages.
I am grateful for the input of Nazdagama into this piece. Naz is an an Investment Banker working in Italy and active on Twitter.
Related Party Transactions and the Premier League. However, this was no accident. Man City didn't fail the test because of an oversight - they failed because they chose to fail.
The following analogy is helpful: He didn't exceed the budget because he wasn't able to count - he just evaluated the pros and cons and viewed that the extra sweets were worth the telling-off he was likely to get.
It was a conscious and rather calculated decision to overspend and take the punishment. He also made a conscious decision not to go massively over the budget - that would be taking the mickey and the telling-off would be fairly harsh.
We shouldn't be under any illusions - City exceeded the FFP threshold by choice. The rules were agreed in and the club has had plenty of time to adjust to the new rules.
City are a sophisticated multi-million pound business and will have had their accountancy team working on interactive finance models to understand exactly where they would be by the time the shutters came down.
The club will have weighed up the merits of complying with rules against the likely punishments and the benefits of spending heavily to compete in the Premier League and in Europe.
Reining in the spending to meet the FFP limits would have reduced their ability to compete. The fact that they chose to overspend is best illustrated by their decision to sack Mancini in May , less than three-weeks before their account-period end the cut-off date for their first FFP Break Even test.
If City had waited another three weeks before sacking him, their accounts wouldn't have had to include his sizeable pay-off.
Rather than wait a few weeks and risk missing out on their chosen manager and delaying preparation for the next season, the club simply decided to push ahead with their overspend.
City made a deliberate choice. What has happened this week should come as no surprise - heaven knows, I have been banging on about it for a couple of years.
People might think that that as City appear to have come fairly close to hitting the target that it doesn't matter. Surely, they would argue, City have tried to comply but simply failed by just a few million.
However, this is where the sweetshop analogy is effective; City knew the rules and could have complied if they had wanted to - their failure was a conscious decision.
Sitting here today, those extra goals might well be enough to secure a second Premier League title - money well spent it seems.
City have used a number of techniques to window-dress their accounts to help them get close to passing the test.
As soon as the new FFP rules were introduced, City acquired the services of the very same Deloittes accountants who drew up the rules.
The rationale was clear - these chaps would know the loopholes in the rules. Without this crack team City might-well have adopted a similarly simplistic approach as PSG and used a single overstated deal to balance their books.
It has clearly been more effective to use a variety of contentious deals than rely on a single, clearly overstated, deal. Lots has been written about the Etihad deal and we don't yet know if the deal has been adjusted downwards.
However readers should ask themselves this simple question: A suspicion remains that the company deliberately and knowingly paid over the odds for the deal.
In the absence of a whistle-blower or a 'smoking gun' it would be almost impossible to prove - however just because it is a hard point to prove, wouldn't avoid the immorality of any deception.
Manchester City have clearly been offered a 'plea-bargain' and it seem likely that they would accept the punishment rather than risk something more serious.
It seems likely that they will agree a punishment that will probably result in a reduction in their spend for their Champions League squad next season, or perhaps prevent any new recruits taking part in next season's Champions League.
Assuming City accept the 'plea-bargain', any club that feels it has lost out as a result of City not being banned from UEFA competition is able to appeal.
Assuming Arsenal finish 4th, this would apply to both Everton and Man Utd. The position gets a little more murky when you consider that Arsenal may also have grounds to appeal as they would have to take part in an irksome qualifying round before the Group Stages.
Also, Liverpool and Chelsea might also have a grievance if the City finish above them and claim a greater share of the Champions League Marketing Pool.
However, I would be surprised if any English club other than perhaps Everton feel that a probably fruitless appeal is worth the trouble. It is therefore still technically possible for Man City to be banned from the Champions League next season even if they have agreed a plea-bargain.
However that looks extremely unlikely and I don't expect it to happen. So what is the point of a plea-bargain concept if it has to be referred to the Adjudicatory Chamber in any event?
Finally, It is worth pointing out that although Platini was recently quoted as saying that no clubs would be banned this season.
UEFA quickly confirmed that this was a misquote and that Platini had only said that he didn't think any clubs would be banned.
However it is inconceivable that he is not aware of the 'plea-bargains' being discussed and their likely acceptance by the clubs - clearly he expects all impacted clubs to accept their plea-bargains.
The Benefactor Model - permitted in League 1 and 2 23 April The League 1 and League 2 rules require clubs to submit regular financial forecasts to the Football League.
Only if a club is operating within the permitted limits are clubs allowed to sign new players - clubs that are clearly heading for an overspend will have a transfer embargo imposed.
For the SCMP rules, the crucial issue is the definition of 'Turnover' as this is used to determine the maximum wage-spend.
From a traditional accounting perspective, there are only three elements of turnover: The Football League have confirmed that their definition is broader definition of Turnover than is usually used.
Although loans from club owners are understandably not included in the Turnover figure, the inclusion of cash injections from the owner is particularly interesting.
In League 1 and League 2, a wealthy owner can fund the club spending in a way that is not permitted in other divisions. Manchester City and Leicester for example seem set for punishment for their excessive losses from UEFA and the Championship respectively despite the fact that the owners have injected hard cash into the club to finance the spending - an approach that is permitted in League 1 and 2.
Permitting benefactor donations to a club is interesting; benefactor-spending of course has an inflationary effect on the wages in the division something clubs are keen to avoid.
Coventry's manager recently confirmed that the club owners will inject cash into their club to fund player wages - without equity injections being included as 'Turnover', Coventry would be operating under a transfer embargo.
Championship clubs are currently discussing the introduction of new rules and it seems they will probably also introduce interactive account-projections into their process rather than the current retrospective assessment process based on filed club accounts.
There has been some significant support for spending constraints amongst a number of member clubs and in the Championship and it remains to be seen whether Championship club will adopt quite such a relaxed approach to their equity-injection criteria.
Would Hull City be allowed into the Europa League next season? This could be achieved either by getting through to the final and beating Wigan, or simply by getting through to a final against Arsenal.
The rules can be found here. However, since then we have had some clarification from UEFA. The situation with Liverpool is relevant here.
The owner will need to inject some cash to ensure club debts do now grow by more than permitted. He will have until 31 Dec to convert the debt into equity.
In the mean-time, Hull fans can continue to dream of a European tour. Neither of these two scenarios are even remotely likely.
Although there is at least one potentially two games to win, Hull fans can at least start to think about digging out their passports. Will Liverpool face any FFP punishment?
This account projection carries a health warning — however it will be broadly correct — and that is probably all we need for this exercise as I will explain later.
Youth and Community spend can be excluded. Infrastructure financing costs can also be excluded. The good news for Liverpool is that the club meet the criteria for applying this exclusion.
I should warn readers that it is a fairly hard read. Consequently, their accounts were not submitted to UEFA and they are not one of the 76 clubs that are currently being investigated.
This idiosyncrasy in the rules exists for purely practical reasons - UEFA would not have time to asses Liverpool's accounts from scratch between May and the end of June the end date for advising of punishments.
The club will, however, have applied for a UEFA License well in advance of the end of the season but the Break Even examination is a separate process.
Clubs might fail the Licensing process if, for example, they are in administration or do not have audited accounts.
The CFCB Adjudicatory panel will disclose thei sanctions for the 76 currently being investigated, during the coming June — it seems likely that PSG and, I suspect, Manchester City will be amongst the clubs who receive some kind of punishment.
These clubs could, potentially, be banned from the competition altogether or receive one of the other punishments — including the probable favourite sanction of capping the wage-spend for the UEFA competition squad.
So, we could see Liverpool, with a full-strength squad, lining up against a weakened Man City or PSG — both would have overspent over the same period yet only one would have a restriction applied.
So what kind of punishment would Liverpool receive and when? The situation with Monaco is also interesting. Monaco are also not one of the 76 clubs currently being investigated as they were not in UEFA competition this season.
Whereas Liverpool have made efforts to factor in FFP in how they manage their club, Monaco seem to have simply disregarded FFP altogether — they are set to finish runners-up in France and will miss Break Even by a wide margin.
Yet it seems that Monaco will waltz into the Champions League and compete without any sanction at all until June at the earliest. So when Monaco and Liverpool supply their accounts next October, they can expect to be able to continue in the competition.
UEFA are able to withhold prize money and have used this sanction for clubs that have overdue payables including overdue tax or transfer fees.
However it looks more likely that Liverpool and Monaco would simply wait until the June sanctioning decision. It is of course possible that Liverpool might make sufficient profit this season to bring them back into FFP compliance and seemingly escape punishment altogether although they would probably need to sell some players in May to make that happen.
The application of the rules gives rise to a couple of other interesting issues. The practicalities are important - before the Premier League were rather forced to introduce spending constraints following parliamentary pressure, the Premier League had maintained that as all clubs aspire to take part on UEFA competition, no specific PL FFP was required.
However as we can see from Villa, Cardiff and Hull, these overspending clubs did not receive any immediate UEFA sporting sanction — the government was perhaps wise to press for those spending constraints.
The 2 hour session provided number of interesting updates - only a few of which have been reported in the British press. As has been widely reported, 76 clubs were required to provide additional financial information to UEFA.
Some media outlets probably not at the session seemed to sensationalise what UEFA were saying in respect to the Essentially the 76 clubs are those that met all the following criteria: As we know, the first Monitoring Period covers the financial results over two seasons.
Suggestions that 76 clubs may have failed FFP are somewhat wide of the mark - a deficit of just 1 euro would have triggered the request for the second set of accounts.
If so, they will not receive any FFP sanction this season. Related Party Transactions -. I am grateful for one journalist for asking a very specific question regarding RPTs.
The question was essentially: The answer confirmed that the CFCB Investigatory Chamber would be looking at the accounts with a fresh pair eyes and will not be relying on the auditors classification of RPT items.
The independent nature of the CFCB panel was something that came over very strongly from the session. Alasdair Bell UEFA director of Legal Affairs advised that they are not able to tell the panel how to act or indeed what punishments to apply.
He explained that this is somewhat a risk for them - they essentially pass the rulebook and the menu of punishments over to the Adjudicatory panel and have to leave that to them to decide how to proceed.
As I have written previously, this arrangement has been made so that punishments are applied 'at arms-length' from UEFA and helps ensure that the UEFA is insulated from legal action.
The downside for UEFA is that the panel may decide to apply punishments in a way other than how they would have wished.
This could suggest that the punishments handed out adjudicatory panel for Break Even breaches may not be particularly lenient — however will have to wait and see.
UEFA added more detail to the timeline. These punishments and the clubs will be made public. Any clubs that have considered to have made a significant breach will be referred to the CBCB Adjudicatory Chamber - clubs punished in this tranche will find out their sanction before the end of June.
Bell advised that clubs are not able to lodge an appeal in the Civil Courts in their country. Cases taken to CAS are expected to be resolved by mid August.
The agent Striani has mounted a legal challenge to the FFP rules. An interesting question was raised rather thinly veiled but obviously relating to PSG.
The question was whether the CFCB Chamber will judge compliance on the numbers and also on behaviour; if a club that was, for example, backdating a contract and making fun of FFP, would it expect a more harsh punishment.
Alasdair Bell advised that it would be normal for any tribunal or court to take into account behaviour and consider if an attempt had been made to mislead it.
They are expecting the new rule come in the season after next and it might take around 3 further years to bring about closure.
Manchester United unable to spend their way out of trouble 12 Feb Given this probable fall in income, it is interesting to overlay the new Premier League spending constraints and see what impact this fairly dramatic income reduction will have on the club.
The results are rather startling — the club appear to have considerably less leeway to spend their way out of trouble than club vice-chairman would have us believe.
Even with the extra commercial income from the forthcoming renewal of the Nike deal, United will note be able to increase wages without constraint. The rules that restrict wage increases came in this season and work as follows: For Manchester United, the devil is in the detail: Manchester United recently released their half-yearly figures and we can use these to understand where they are likely to be at the end of the current year: Man Utd may be able to spend money on transfer fees, they do have a very real restriction on their ability to increase wages.
Clearly, if they can generate significantly higher Commercial income figure, the problem is alleviated. This might have a direct bearing on players such as Rooney, who are on a low book-value in the club accounts and who could be sold for a significant paper profit.
However, at the moment even that might well not be achieved. Although it is probably unlikely that Man Utd would choose to overspend and thereby head for a transfer embargo, the embargo timeline works as follows: In an ideal world, Man Utd would have wanted more wages freed-up to reallocate to new players.
However every player leaving who is on a high wage-bill will free up wages for new players. Unfortunately for Moyes, the club simply cannot increase wages without giving consideration being to the timing of a much-needed restructure.
The new rules represent a sea-change - the days when one of the richest Premier League teams could simply buy their way out of trouble, without a glance over their shoulder, have gone.
Manchester City's long-awaited financial results were released last week. In many ways they raise more questions than they answer.
As a number of journalists have pointed out, there are a host of Related Party Transactions, Inter-company transactions as well as a sale of Image Rights to a company that the City Press Office insists is outside the club.
These obscure transactions have been designed to generate one-off income for the club during the final accounting year that will be covered by the first Monitoring Period.
City have remained publically silent over whether they will actually pass the FFP Break Even test and curiously, the accounts don't even mention FFP or the potential for reduced income if they were to be excluded from future competition.
Given that their thousands of fans are keen to know if the club have passed the FFP test, the club's silence seems remarkably remiss.
The CFCB will attempt to identify and apportion a market rate to these transactions In addition, a number of other items could also conceivably be reviewed.
The sale of Image Rights is both interesting and intriguing. The club has not disclosed precisely what they are trying to achieve. The rationale is that, as a proportion of their earnings essentially come from use of their image overseas, there is no requirement to pay UK tax on the overseas earnings.
On the face of it, it looks like City are introducing a commercial company through which a percentage of their overseas earnings can channelled in order to reduce their tax liability.
It looks like this company has paid Man City for 'Image Rights' so that they can collect their designated overseas earnings.
Presumably this company will ultimately process the revenue off-shore so tax is greatly reduced on any profits. However, Manchester City have not made any profits for a number of years and as such have not had to pay Corporation Tax - any benefit from such an arrangement is therefore likely to come in future seasons.
In an ideal world, the club should provide more information on what they are attempting here - it is possible that the club have simply sold a percentage of Image Rights to a completely separate company as their Press Office seems to be suggesting.
However, even if the rights revert to the main club after a defined period of time, this seems rather unlikely - why would City a club with zero debt genuinely want to sell a percentage of their future Image earnings?
Depending on the rationale, it seems possible that CFCB may determine that the Image Rights payments do not represent 'Relevant Income' a term that defines income generated from broadly football-related sources.
Man City have every reason to feel pleased with the performance of their accounting teams. Whereas PSG decided to fudge the Break Even test with a single commercial tie-in with the Qatar Tourist Authority a deal that appears to be a fairly transparent Related Party Transaction , City have very deliberately adopted a much more complex approach.
You have to wonder whether CFCB will have the desire and tenacity to unravel and challenge each element.
City's increase in Commercial Income is also intriguing. Four of their five top sponsors are from parties connected to the club owner Mansour is part of UAE's absolute monarchy which effectively controls all government and all state-owned assets.
The suspicion arises that various Image Rights and intellectual property deals were essentially 'balancing items' and that these deals would have appeared in their accounts for however much City needed to nominally pass the test.
Interestingly, Mancini was sacked just three-weeks before the end of the accounting cut-off date. City's accountants would have us believe that if the sacking had not happened, the club would have reported a very healthy and somewhat implausible FFP pass.
One of City's 'Intellectual Rights' deals apparently included in their accounts Melbourne Hart women's team was only announced this month ; this rather gives the game away.
So, what does this mean for City? The most likely scenario is that the CFCB will challenge most of the contentious items and that some will be overruled.
This sanction enables UEFA to withhold players from their competitions based on their overspend. The mechanics of this punishment are still be outlined but UEFA seems happy that this provides a punishment that is directly proportionate to a club's overspend.
Unlike an outright ban, this punishment would insulate them from any later legal challenge and claim for damages i.
The annual Deloitte's Rich List reveals some interesting information about Man City's income - figures that have not yet been published owing to delays publishing the club accounts.
However, all the income is showing, just the catergorisation needs some reworking. It is rather hard to work out where this huge uplift has come from the Etihad deal was announced in the previous year so this increase is on top of that figure.
It is interesting to see what these figures do to City's accounts and the FFP test: Manchester City appear to have been briefing journalists that they are on track to pass the FFP test.
It is possible that they trimmed their expenses more than I predict - however I think it is more likely that we can expect some similar, rather baffling, one-off item in their accounts.
Wage Spend versus points achieved 3 Jan This raised an interesting point; clubs will spend money to gain a competitive advantage, but, how by much does a high spend influence results?
And what kind of spending? It also raises the question of to what extend a team's performance against wage spend contributes to the level of expectation and pressure put on the manager.
Unlike net transfer-fee spending, wages seem to provide a better measure for determining the performance of club. The web site www.
The chart below plots actual wage spend for Premier League clubs against the number of points that each team achieved. There is an obvious relationship - the more you spend on wages, the more points you can expect to accumulate.
Interestingly, the curve is exponential - at the bottom end and extra few million makes a big difference but the net benefit decreases with greater spend.
Using the best-fit line we can produce a model of how each Premier League club should perform based on their wage spend. As clubs don't publish up-to-the minute wage spend, we need to make a number of assumptions and projections from the last published wage spend, based on known events and published information.
The attached figures therefore carry a number of health-warning and caveats - however I wouldn't expect them to be too far out: Using the above figures and the model, we get the following table.
The left side of the table below shows how many points the club should have after 20 games; the right side of the table shows the actual league after 20 games.
The most significant over-performing clubs have been marked. It is interesting to see that the over-performing teams are those where the managers have received media acclaim and the under-performers are relate to teams where a manager has been dismissed or is under pressure.
Interestingly, West Ham are one of the biggest under-performers in relation to wage spend - the model suggests they should have gained 8 more points after 20 games.
The proceedings could have a significant impact on Spanish football. Independent journalist Sam Wallace originally broke this story.
See his articles here and here and here. Whilst all other clubs were obliged by the Spanish Government, to become public limited companies, Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona and Osasuna were given state exemption and were permitted to remain as member-owned organisations.
This allowed them remain as not-for profit organizations and to gain sizeable tax advantages compared to their rivals. However, as we all know, any other type of owner injections eg by a Plc or benefactor cannot be used to boost the club's relevant income for FFP purposes.
One could argue that this artificially helps the top Spanish clubs. The counter-argument is that perhaps that the membership fees help keep ticket prices down - without the membership income, the club may partly increase the price of match-day tickets to compensate for the lack of membership income.
The Real Madrid property deal controversy goes back to The deal is somewhat complicated but essentially the Madrid council owed , euros to Real and swapped this debt for a piece of land worth 23m euros.
By March , the almost bankrupt Regional Govt had paid out 5m euros in interest on Valencia's debt of 86m euros.
Premier League clubs - 'Loss per ticket' analysis 9 Dec A study of Premier League club accounts shows that most paying fans effectively have their match-day-experience subsidised by club losses.
The table below shows how much extra fans would have to pay for their match tickets if clubs worked on a Break Even basis, with fans making up any deficit.
One could argue that fans of the biggest loss-making clubs have been getting tremendous value for money — a bit like regularly buying a ticket for your local theatre but getting to see Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington strut their stuff.
Without the largesse of many Premier League owners or their ability to add losses to the club debts , the talent on the pitch might be considerably less attractive.
There are only 6 clubs that have made a profit over the last two seasons for which we have a full set of accounts. Of these, Arsenal fairly regularly make a profit essentially due to profit on player transfers.
There are a few interesting anomalies in the figures. However you could argue that this is a fairly distorted view of club financing and ticket pricing.
TV revenue and Commercial income have grown significantly and ticket income, although outpacing inflation, has fallen well behind the growth in the other income streams.
There are two measures coming into play that should change the current loss-making picture for clubs in the Premier League.
Player contract disclosure - a lesson we can learn from the Italians 5 Dec One of the most frustrating parts of the transfer window is finding that a player has been sold for 'an undisclosed fee'.
Whereas some clubs are happy to disclose the amount that has been paid, increasingly clubs prefer to keep the figure confidential; hoping that it will somehow improve their future bargaining position or possibly avoid the wrath of their fans.
As the Guardian reported , only 5 of transfers made in the summer had an officially disclosed fee - a concept they felt was 'an insult to fans'. There has recently been a noticeable cultural shift towards more openness and transparency in football and the 'undisclosed fee' is clearly headed in the opposite direction.
Perhaps it is time for football clubs to consider the approach taken in Italy's Serie A. All Italian clubs are required to publish a list of the players at the club, together with the amount they paid for the player; their contract-end date, and their depreciated book value.
Juventus published the following report as at 30 June This level of information is intrinsically interesting - there probably aren't many football supporters who wouldn't be interested in reading a break-down of their club's players in this format.
Interestingly, the figures in Juventus break-down are not 'round amounts'. I am advised this is largely because medical fees and legal fees are added to the purchase price to represent the full cost of the purchase.
Agent fees are not included in these figures. As anyone interested in FFP will be aware, players purchase price is written-down over the life of the contract - this results in a rather mirky item appearing in the club' annual accounts termed 'amortisation'.
Interestingly, Manchester United used to the provide this level of information back in - however, for whatever reason they stopped producing it.
Italian clubs produce this information routinely and quite happily. This makes it easier for football fans to understand the club finances and unpick this mysterious amortisation figure.
I would argue that having this information would really help the governance process within football. Perhaps calling for such a change isn't entirely fanciful.
It is easy to forget that as recently as , David Conn was bemoaning the lack of agent-fee disclosure in the Premier League. Now, every November, the Premier League routinely publishes how much clubs paid to agents.
Publishing purchase price and contract information would be a fairly 'low cost' tool that would allow fans to better understand events and pressures at their football clubs.
Interestingly, Agent Fees aren't disclosed in Italy so perhaps both countries could learn from the best-practice examples of the other.
Like several PL clubs with a bad set of results, City published their previous accounts on a Friday afternoon when then knew journalistic attention would be kept to a minimum; a practice I highlighted here.
Although I expect the accounts to improve, given that this forthcoming set of accounts will complete the FFP jigsaw it will be interesting to see if City repeat the practice this year.
The upcoming results will therefore complete the FFP picture and, in theory at least, we should be able to tell if the high-spending club have passed the test.
However, unless City have significantly changed their approach to financial disclosure, journalists are likely to struggle to determine whether City's results mean a Pass or Fail.
The FFP rules are fairly complicated and a number of elements that are not shown separately in the accounts can be excluded from the Break Even test.
In addition, City's previous accounts, whilst in keeping with permitted accounting practices, include some revenue and expense items that require adjustments to comply with the FFP requirements.
Although we can hope that City will produce a formal FFP statement as part of their accounts explaining their Break Even Result, past events suggest the club are more likely to produce an unhelpful but optimistic 'fudging' statement.
To help analysis of City's accounts, I have produced an interactive calculator which unfortunately doesn't work too well on a mobile device.
City will aim to put as positive a spin as possible on the results so we can probably expect some 'window dressing' items in the account. See Note 4 below for an explanation of how this needs to be treated.
Any significant change in club wages will need to be watched closely. The Independent reported that City were aiming to put some wage costs through a separate company as a way to help the club break even.
However, even if the club do this, the FFP rules require all wages and costs to be included - ultimately UEFA would simply add any excluded wages back into the Break Even calculation.
I expect the figure to be a Loss rather than a profit so enter a loss as a minus figure. I have pre-populated this orange field with the figure City probably need to hit to meet the FFP requirements in a 'best case' scenario.
Just double-click on the field and enter the correct figure. Depending on the contents of City's accounts, you might only need to amend the orange cell to generate the likely FFP result.
Any yellow field can be overwritten if necessary. The Notes explain each item and why I have pre-populated the calculator with that figure.
At the weekend, PSG became the first french team to field an all foreign line-up in a league game in England this first happened with Chelsea in Their opponents Lyon fielded 7 french players and were hammered However it looks like something they are going to have to get used to.
Off the field it has been an interesting week for the club. As I have outlined previously , the QTA deal appears to be artificially inflated and designed specifically to help the club Break Even.
QTA is a department of the Qatar government. However that isn't the end of the matter. An RPT occurs where an owner, or someone closely connected to the club owner, carries out a transaction with the club.
RPT rules are important for FFP as they ensure the owner doesn't artificially inflate a transaction above 'fair value' in the aim of boosting the club's income.
Although this might first appear to be a rather 'trusting' approach, in reality has the benefits of being both simple and secure.
These rules as was pointed out to me recently appear to be almost identical to the IAS requirements. The rationale for standardisation seems, at least in part, driven by a concern that not all countries could be relied upon to have the same exacting standards.
Interestingly, the ECA Vice President Umberto Gandini gave an interview where he indicated his belief that Russian auditing standards might not up to the job and were potentially very lenient.
One might think 'rules are rules' and if both parties are working to the same rulebook the outcome will always the same.
However, the definitions and meaning of concepts such as 'Influence' are always going to be open to interpretation.
Given what we know about the relationship between PSG, their owners and QTA, it seems perfectly possible that despite what PSG's accountants say the CFCB would determine that there is some kind of related 'association' between the different bodies.
Of course this could all get contentious and litigious. Interestingly, the CFCB was established as an independent body for this very purpose - UEFA itself is much less exposed to legal action if the rules and punishments are determined by separate and and independent body.
The benefits of forming such an independent body has precedents in the Premier League. In the famous the Tevez case, an independent panel set up by the FA decided that West Ham would be fined for failing to disclose a third party ownership contract - no points were deducted.
An appeal was lodged and this second panel essentially determined that although they would have imposed a more severe punishment, due process had been followed by the first independent panel and the decision wasn't so 'perverse' that it had to be overruled.
The FA were protected from any legal action by the use of the independent panel. The point here is that the CFCB are able to make their own interpretation of what makes an RPT, and that might be different to one the club's auditors have come up with as long as they don't decide something 'perverse.
This week's meeting seems may turn out to be just first part of the long and winding RPT journey. During the last year, City have spent heavily on the Academy development so the exclusion might be higher than the previous year but if so, would expect this to be mentioned in the accounts.
UEFA will make a number of adjustments to allow for any overstated revenue items or understated expenditure items.
Although I contend that Etihad could almost certainly have secured the same sponsorship deal for less if it had wanted , the deal is so complicated that UEFA will struggle to apply a Fair Value reduction to this deal.